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Kenya: Supkem Objects to Anti-Terrorism Bill

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Nairobi — The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) has opposed the new Anti-Terrorism Bill terming it as 'discriminatory and targeted to the Muslims community'.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday SUPKEM National Chairman Abdulghafur El-Busaidy called for major scrutiny of the Bill and asked for input by all major stakeholders before it goes to Parliament.

He said if the Bill was passed into law the way it is, it will not deal with the injustices in handling terrorism suspects.

"The proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill goes against the spirit of the Constitution which protects the rights of all citizens regardless of colour, tribe, sex, region and religion," El-Busaidy said.

SUPKEM also want previous investigations into torture and harassment of innocent Kenyans as suspects of terrorism be carried out.

"Kenyans would wish to develop their own counter-terrorism policies that are suited to their unique conditions and developed with widespread public participation as opposed to being bulldozed by foreign people whose interest are not well known to them," he said.

This comes a day after the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka assured the Muslim community that the Anti-Terrorism Bill is not targeting them.

"I want to assure you my brothers and sisters that the upcoming Anti-Terrorism Bill is not in any way intended to discriminate against the Muslims. This Bill should not scare you at all as it is for the good of this nation," Musyoka told a leaders meeting in Lamu town on Saturday.

However SUPKEM said it should be made clear that the Muslim community is not opposed to fight against terrorism but only seek for changes to the Bill.

SUPKEM meanwhile condemned the twin attacks on the Garissa churches on Sunday where at least 17 people died and over 40 people were injured.

"All places of worship must be respected ...these criminals' must get double punishment," the chairman said.

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